Running a company isn’t an easy feat, and every business owner and manager will attest to that. We’re fortunate, however, that there are now tools that can simplify every project and process; one of which is workflow management. Using workflow management systems and tools is a non-negotiable in today’s economic climate. This article is for every manager who wants to improve their workflows and productivity. 

What you will get from this article:

Workflow management is a straightforward concept that is instrumental in a successful business. In this article, we’re exploring the ins and outs of workflow management and related systems and software that make it easier to implement.

These days, we have a multitude of tools to choose from to manage a business. No matter what industry or sector, there is something for everyone.

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Why is the Workflow?

The history of the workflow (and future workflow software and workflow management tools – if you like) goes back to ’20 of the XX century. And its roots are related to – as always – finding a solution. The solution of how to solve currently existing problems in the manufacturing industry.

During the investigation of how to manage work efficiently, pioneers in the person of Frederick Taylor and Henry Gantt, have been using a graphical schema for visualizing workflows or creating a timeline to lay out the milestones, schedules, and dependencies.

Henry Gantt later adopted the Polish version horizontal bar chart called the Harmonogram. Invented by Polish engineer – Karol Adamiecki – was transformed by Henry Gantt into what we today call the Gantt chart.

Shortening the historical background, a workflow is a visual diagram of a structured, predefined set of tasks that deliver the wanted result. A workflow consists of the steps, the resources, the responsibilities, the dependencies and rules, the people, and the skills needed to accomplish the steps and how these rely on themselves. Workflows outline start and end points, the order(s) of movement, where there may be decision points, what you expect for results, and potential substitute steps.

The Role of the Project Workflow Management?

In this chapter, we’d like to focus you on a good understanding of the subject. Why? If you’d looking for some inspiration, solutions, or even a workflow management system – better to have a full scope of the problem (even if it’s in outline) to avoid missing the time for something that’s not connected.

What the workflow and the management separately mean anyone can imagine. To make it less complicated, we will avoid defining management, and let’s turn our eyes to the second term. A workflow refers to steps that have to be done to achieve some, even very little, goal. Or, using project management terms, steps to complete a task. It can be said otherwise. A workflow:

It’s a space between a beginning and an end made up of steps, processes, and people involved in those ones.

Before we will dig into the main term, we need to make another comment. We need to make a little breakdown. Gartner, an analytical and research company specializing in issues of strategic use of technology and technology management, pays attention to the double meaning of workflow management.

The first is an external and internal process integration; “a workflow approach that allows for the definition of business processes that span applications, including those that come from different vendors. This usually requires a standards-based commercial workflow development environment”.

The second is automated events or processes; a workflow approach that enables automated tasks (implementation of a project, such as the process of an employee allocation or process of website development) to be performed.

The second one is within the scope of our article. By workflow management we understand in the same way as suggested by the US SAP integrator Signavio company:

Workflow management is the coordination of tasks that make up the work an organization does. By ‘workflow’ we mean a sequence of tasks that are part of some larger task, and is sometimes synonymous with ‘business process’.

The most important factor to understand about workflow management is that it should make your job easier and as painless as possible. Any time you spend on workflow management should repay you ten times over with increased productivity and the profits that follow. According to for the second time to SAP Signavio:

The purpose of a workflow is to achieve some result, and the purpose of workflow management is to achieve better results according to some set of goals.

If we focus on “achieve better results” first what comes to mind is “optimization”, or to be honest “continuously optimization”. Generally speaking, the role of workflow management is helping to optimize or – as we prefer – workflow managing should be equated with optimization. Optimization of what? Optimization of task completion and automating them into systems to increase productivity and reduce challenges.

For us and maybe not by the accident for our competitor – The – a project workflow management is:

A project management workflow is a carefully planned sequence of the tasks and activities you need to do to complete a specific project.

Workflow management refers to the business process of organizing, documenting, and completing a variety of tasks. This management can involve the use of strategies, and techniques, including scheduling techniques, and of course workflow management systems (software). Or simply, by drawing up plans and defining the steps needed to achieve the desired outcome optimized process of work.

For example, when an outcome requires a number of different steps or smaller tasks, each step or task can get assigned to a different employee or to employee with insufficient skills. This can easily lead to chaos when communication isn’t as clear as it needs to be. So it’s obvious, good workflow management makes your business more efficient as it streamlines each process and allows different departments and individuals to communicate clearly—one of the most important functions of the system.

Project Workflow Management vs Project Management

To avoid too deep an introduction, let’s directly use the most common project management definition. Paraphrasing Association for Project Management’s Body of Knowledge, 7th edition, project management is about applying skills and knowledge to get the project done according to requirements and assumptions, within time and budget. While workflow management is about optimizing tasks between points A and B.

The Nintex company – a workflow automation software provider – proposes:

Where project management deals with planning, overseeing, and directing tasks; workflow deals with connecting those tasks. And where project management looks at the big picture, workflow makes the big picture move smoothly from stage to stage.

While project management’s approach is to plan, then workforce management is to connect. But when it comes to answering the question of what’s the relationship between them, the answer seems to be simple. Let’s look at phases of the project management process (or, as PMs prefer, project management life cycle).

Let’s take a look at each column. Do you see some tasks and processes made up by them? Do you need more words to justify what’s the relationship between them?

As we know, each column contains tasks that has to be done to move forward. Project workflow management refers to the specific, ordered set of tasks that must be completed to execute a process step. To qualify as a workflow, each step in the process must be contingent on the completion of the previous step.

What To Look For In A Project Management Workflow System 

The earliest tools of workflow management were pen and paper, but these days we’re lucky enough to have a wide range of software applications that make the process easier and more efficient. The automation of various tasks is a great time-saver made possible by workflow management systems (WfMS or WMS).

Some basic elements often included in workflow management systems are as follows:

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it gives you a better idea of what workflow management systems or software entails.

Types of Project Management Workflow

Workflow management systems and tools refer to the use of technology to automate and coordinate steps in a process. These systems or tools are ideally suited to a wide range of workflows, as their intended function is to provide a basic framework that works off whatever data gets provided.

The type of workflow management system you choose depends – as always – on your business’s needs and projects that occur in your company. The market offers the 3 types of workflows that might be built by workflow management systems.

Five Essential Features of Workflow Management Software

  1. Intuitive and code-free

The point of WFMS is to simplify your life, not complicate it. As a business owner or manager, you want to work with clearly presented information that is easily understood. This doesn’t mean that you no longer need very detailed data, but rather that the software you choose can deal with complex information in the background.

  1. Adaptable, flexible, and customizable

Companies are complicated entities that consist of many layers. The software you choose should be flexible and easy to adjust. For example, it could allow you to specify data access for different people.

  1. Offers different visualization tools

Workflow management software should come with a range of options when it comes to illustrating a sequence of tasks or set of data, such as flowcharts, pie charts, graphs, forms, and so on.

  1. Integration with other tools

A workflow is a distinct part of your business, but that doesn’t mean it operates in a vacuum. Information that you need in your workflow comes from different parts of your company, which means that connecting it to your content management system is essential.

  1. Reporting features

Creating a visual of a particular workflow is helpful in getting it done, but a crucial part of running a business is evaluating how well different processes have worked. A workflow management system needs to be able to give you clear feedback on the efficiency of your workflows.

Project Workflow Management Systems Are Used by Professionals and Project Managers

Now that you have a better idea of what a good WfMS should provide, it’s time to take a look at a few of the best software choices that are on offer.

Teamdeck – Resource Management Software with Task Scheduling and Performance Tracking Features

“An employee-focused complete resource management solution for agencies and software houses.” is a project schedule and workflow management tool

Prices: $0.9 (Light Member) per month and $3.6 (Team Member) per month




Hive.comProject Management Platform

“The first project management platform built for users by users.”

Hive helps track multiple projects

Prices: Hive Solo – Free for individuals and small teams.

Hive Team – $12 per user per month (when billed annually) or $ 16 per month (when billed monthly for Hive Teams that run multiple projects and programs looking to streamline work.




Proofhub.comProject Planning Software

“Make the most of all the tools your team needs put under one roof.”

Proofhub’s features make it easy to plan, collaborate, organize, and deliver projects

Prices: (standard) $45 per month / billed annually unlimited projects / 5 users / 10 GB storage



Creative vs Traditional – The Differences Between Project Workflow Management Approaches

A workflow or a business process, as it is sometimes called, is a sequence of tasks that need to be taken to achieve a specific outcome. There are two main types of workflows – sequential and parallel. The former entails a strict order in which tasks are arranged in a linear process. The latter means that tasks can be performed by different people concomitantly.

Whatever the type, a workflow is normally part of a larger set of workflows, which add up to larger and more complex business processes. A combination of the types of workflows is also possible.

Over the years, as companies continued developing, managing, and standardizing workflows, some of them have become too rigid and resistant to change. They do not always leave space for innovation and risk-taking. Efforts have been made to instill more creativity, flexibility, and resilience in the process.

Despite some progress, not all companies and workers seem to be on board with these changes. The 10th Global Project Management Survey by Project Management Institute (PMI), a U.S.-based not-for-profit professional organization for project management, found that only 58% of organizations fully understand the importance of strategic creative project workflow management.

We argue that creative approaches to workflow management have clear benefits. We are sharing the top 10 benefits of creative project workflow management that no success-oriented company or entity can turn a blind eye to.

Limitations of traditional project workflow management

While workflows were conceived to ease organizational and project management (which they do), traditional methods have come to face certain limitations, which necessitate more creative management approaches. Without adjusting the workflow development and management processes, companies risk becoming entrenched in business processes that are too rigid to invite innovation and creative thinking. Let’s take a quick look at these limitations.

Slow process

The traditional method is rather slow as it does not allow for any divergence. Changes to the sequential workflow are difficult to make because they will mess up the flow and causal interrelationship between different tasks.

Little or no space for customer inputs

Product development is not informed or is poorly informed by customer views. This may dilute the entire process since the end product or service will fail to meet demand. Tweaking or upgrading the product or service once its development process is over is onerous, time-consuming, and expensive.

Lack of incentives

When all steps and tasks seem to be predetermined, there is little incentive for employees to come up with innovative solutions or new ways of doing things. It also makes an entity entirely risk-averse, which does not bode well for its ability to compete with rivals by staying ahead of the curve.

Too rigid

The process is too rigid to allow for adjustments, improvements, unconventional solutions, or even quick fixes in the course of workflow management. People are reluctant to think outside the box because anything unconventional or going against the company playbook might be construed as mismanagement or bad practice.

Poor coordination

Traditional workflow management notoriously suffers from poor coordination. Even parallel workflow management, assuming a degree of coordination to ensure complementarity, results in each business process having its own life with poor linkages to other tasks or workflows. This poses the risk of stovepiping data too, which affects the overall productivity.

Benefits of creative project workflow management

So, how does creating workflow management help address the above challenges? What are the specific benefits every company or entity can expect from creating workflow management? Let us now move on to reviewing the top 10 benefits companies can expect from creative project workflow development and management.


Creative project workflow spurs enhanced teamwork in a company or an organization. It creates space for people to come forward with unconventional ideas they can discuss and refine with coworkers. It thus creates a sense of shared ownership and responsibility for a workflow they will be developing and complying with for greater results and efficiencies.


Proceeding from the above, creative project workflow management stimulates closer coordination between different departments and individuals. The process minimizes the margin of error while contributing to the attainment of the overall company goals.

Better coordination also invites greater buy-in of the company leadership to support initiatives that are thought through by various units or departments.

Improved management

Creative project workflow management is both the result and cause of improved management practices. The world’s leading companies are successful because they are able to nurture creative and unconventional approaches to project planning and management. One example is Google, one of the world’s best-known tech giants, which adopted a creative objective-setting management approach called objectives and key results (OKR).

Years ago, Google encouraged its staff to set ambitious objectives linked to the company’s overall goals. Under the long-term, ambitious objectives, they set specific and measurable key results reviewed on an annual basis. All OKRs were shared internally to let staff see how their individual work plans contributed to one another to achieve the overall company goals. The results Google has been able to achieve speak for themselves. Lots of other companies are now learning from this experience to adopt similar approaches.


Creative project workflow management makes entities more agile. The industry-leading companies are moving away from classic project management tools, such as the waterfall methodology, to innovative, agile management approaches. This allows them to break down their business processes into smaller units seeking incremental progress and improvements deriving from the results achieved at each stage.

Creative project workflow management makes entities more agile by enhancing their capacity to respond and adapt to the changes and developments occurring in the course of the workflow development and management cycle.
At the end of the day, agile companies provide better value to their customers, remain competitive, and produce better results.

Sustainability & productivity

Creative project workflow management is also a precursor to increased sustainability and productivity. It creates a range of incentives for employees to become the kind of thought leaders who help companies stay ahead of the curve. Not only that, it makes companies and their staff more productive as all are intrinsically interested in continuous improvements, incremental changes, and agile management practices.

Improved productivity and efficiency are the things everyone is concerned with, whether it be companies, entrepreneurs, freelance writers, or college students. When it comes to college assignments, students need to review essay writing services carefully to choose one that meets their college requirements best. That’s why they often use TrustMyPaper to obtain high-quality content and professional writing services at reasonable prices. They are thus able to have their academic papers completed in accordance with their college requirements.

Better learning & knowledge sharing

Thats kind of project workflow management fosters a learning environment in a company. It creates space for people to try and fail without fear of retribution. As the renowned Irish playwright Samuel Beckett put it, we all need to “try again, fail again, fail better!” By fostering a work environment conducive to reasonable risk-taking and initiative, companies and organizations ensure continuous improvement and learning as an iterative process.

When working conditions and environment are right, people stop working in silos. Stovepiping is a corporate ailment that any successful company wants to avoid at all costs. Knowledge sharing paves the way for maximizing the benefits of empirical data and evaluations for future high-level planning and management practices.

Enhanced communication

As employees are given space for putting forward creative solutions, workflow management starts fostering better, more timely, and regular communication between different units and departments. More often than not, the lack of communication leads to considerable hiccups in product or service development, which are difficult to put back to right.

It also improves external or strategic communication with outside stakeholders and customers, which are critical for ensuring the relevance of company products and services to their needs.


Innovation drives success in today’s fast-changing, technology-driven world. It is hard if at all possible, to stay competitive without regular updates, innovations, and tweaks that give companies the necessary edge. Creative project workflow management breeds the kind of innovation-oriented spirit that is critical for overall success.

By thinking outside the box, people can move themselves and their employers to move out of their comfort zones. Sometimes, that means moving into uncharted waters, which is important if companies want their products and services to stand out.

Competitive advantage

Creativity is the main driver of progress and technological advancement. Companies that are able to harness people’s power of imagination stand to benefit from unconventional and non-traditional ways of thinking. Taking a ‘business-as-usual’ approach to workflow management falls short of giving customers the kind of products and services that they can enjoy as extraordinary, ones that can make them feel special.

Improved performance

Last but not least, creativity has a direct bearing on improved performance. When people work for companies where everything is standardized and where they are expected to simply follow the marching orders, managers cannot expect them to seek individual excellence. Companies get a lot of sandbagging from their employees, i.e., a practice of decreasing expectations of individual strengths and core skills in order to get better-than-expected results.

By contrast, creative project workflow management induces people to punch above their weight, exceed the set requirements, and add value to company profits and results through improved performance.

Final Thoughts

Creative project workflow management has a number of benefits every successful company would want to have. It addresses the inherent limitations of traditional workflow management, which has become too rigid and isolated to meet the fast-changing demands of the world markets. These limitations also stand in the way when it comes to the ability of companies and organizations to master change under continuous, volatile, and unpredictable circumstances to achieve their goals.

By contrast, creative project workflow management ensures space for building coordinated, shared approaches to workflow development and execution, which result in better products and greater profits. It also makes companies more likely to stand out as trailblazers, innovators, and industry leaders against the backdrop of fast-evolving demands, changing customer behavior, and shifting priorities.

Companies striving for excellence and ultimate success cannot afford to be entrenched in old ways of doing things. They know that nothing beats the power of their employees’ imagination and creativity when it comes to striking gold with their products and services.


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